How to measure website loading speed

WordPress, WPCacheOn and GTMetrix, how to measure website loading speed cover
How to use GTMetrix properly for measuring your website speed

Do you think your WordPress website is loading slow? Do you know how to see why exactly your WordPress website is loading slow? Do you know how to improve your website loading speed? If the answer to all of these questions is “no” don’t worry, just keep reading and everything will be clarified until the end.

Where to measure my WordPress website speed?

Maybe this sounds ridiculous but you will be surprised how many people do not know how to measure their website loading speed. Choosing the right tool could lead you to detailed information about the cause of slow loading and respectively easy fix. Among the most popular tools are:

PageSpeed Insights
KeyCDN Website Speed Test
Pingdom Website Speed Test

Basically all of these tools are good for the purpose of measuring a website loading speed. In our expertise and practice we came to the conclusion that the GTMetrix tool is the best one for the wide audience from beginners to advanced users. So we recommend using GTMetrix and all of the tests that we perform in any section of the website will be via the GTMetrix service.

How to measure the speed of my WordPress website?

Once we choose the right tool for measuring the loading speed of our website, we will need to know how to configure the tool so it can provide accurate results. For this purpose you will have to create an account at GTMetrix, you can see how to perform this on the next link:

By pressing the “Sign Up” button at the top right corner. Afterwards a pretty straightforward and self explanatory registration form will slide from the right side of the page. Once the form is fulfilled properly you will be automatically logged into your account. The GTMetrix tool have three welcoming tours, which we recommend to be reviewed. As soon as all of this is performed return to the main page:

Now let’s review the “Analyze Performance of:” bar and all of it’s options. The first step is to set your website URL on the place of the “Enter URL to Analyze…” text. But be careful, you have to enter the URL which means that HTTP/HTTPS should be included. In this field you have to place your website in the same way it is being accessed via the browser. For example if your website is opened by HTTPS and www you should set the next URL:

The incorrect way to set your website URL will be:

Or any other form than the first one. Once this is set we can proceed with the fine tuning of the speed checker tool. In order to do so, click on the “Analysis Options” button right below the “Analyze” button:

An image of GTMetrix Analysis Options for fine tuning of their scan tool.
Not so hidden button, yet do not receive the attention it deserves.

After the button is pressed additional menus will be displayed. Here we have to take into consideration the next two options:

Test URL in
Stop test onload

The first option – “Test URL in” you should choose the nearest location to your server. If you are not sure where is physically located the server hosting your website, contact your hosting service support they should be able to provide such information.

The second option – “Stop test onload” should be set to “On”. Choosing this option the test will be most close to simulating a real visitor experience. After all we want to make the website loading fast for humans and not for crawlers or bots.

When all options are set the menu should be looking like this:

An image of GTMetrix Analysis Options how should be looking after they are filled.
Once filled this is how the “Analyze Performance of:” should look like.

The final step is to click on the big blue “Analyze” button and let a few minutes for the GTMetrix tool to properly scan your website.

Once the test is finished you will see the Performance Report for your website. In the next chapter of this guide we will review how to read the PageSpeed and YSlow results and of course how to improve them!

We will also share insights on how to see which element is slowing down the loading speed of your website.